Monday, 18 August 2014

LIFESTYLE: Thai Cooking - Mango And Sticky Rice

When I was invited to take part in a cooking challenge I was super excited as it finally gave me the push I needed to get around to posting something I had been wanting to do since I got back from Thailand!

​A new survey carried by International Currency Exchange (ICE) found that majority of people choose their holiday purely based on the food available at the destination. So my challenge was to create my favourite meal that I'd eaten while on holiday. 

If you followed my trip to Thailand you will know that I was totally obsessed with a dish they eat out there for breakfast or dessert - hao Niaow Ma Muang - AKA Mango and Sticky Rice. It was totally unlike anything I've ever had before, the whole concept of sugary sweet rice freaked me out and I didn't try it until a few days before the end of the trip after which I became obsessed with it and ate it at every opportunity, I even bought some at the airport on the way home haha. plus to mangos in Thailand are so much sweeter and juicier than the English ones and are sold in bags on the street for like 70p.

So I found a simple recipe, popped down to Tesco's and got started!
  1. Soak 1 cup of rice in 1 cup water for 20-30 minutes, OR up to 4 hours.
  2. Do not drain the rice. Add 1/2 cup more water, plus 1/2 can coconut milk, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar. Stir well.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil, then partially cover with a lid (or bring to a big boil and have it all spill out of the pan and all over the oven, Like I did). Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until coconut-water has been absorbed by the rice. Turn off heat, leave the pot on the burner with the lid on tight. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. To make the sauce, warm (do not boil) the rest of the can of coconut milk over medium-low heat (5 minutes). Add 3 Tbsp. sugar, stirring to dissolve (I'd use white sugar next time as the brown turned it a nasty colour).
  6. Taste-test sauce for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired.
  7. When ready to serve, prepare the mango by slicing it open and using a melon ball scoop to create mango spheres (I made a right mess of this part haha). Pick up the warm rice in your hands and shape into rectangular or triangular shapes (used a spoon) and add the mango balls (mushy mess) on top.  Drizzle lots of the sweet coconut sauce over.
 It was super hard to find the right ingredients, mangoes were easy but just not as nice, but I had loads of trouble finding the right rice and decided sushi rice would have to do the job, luckily, it did haha!! I was actually really pleased with how it turned out and how similar it actually tasted! I made far too much for myself but my dad came along and finished the rest so it can't have been that bad!

Whats Your Favourite Foreign Dish?

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Friday, 15 August 2014

LIFESTYLE: #HelloSummerMoments with Costa Coffee

To celebrate Costa Coffee's delicious new Summer menu, they got in touch and asked me to take part in their #HelloSummerMoments challenge which of course I was very happy to do! I had loads of fun with it - I love a good blog challenge to spend the week thinking about!

I was sent an amazing little picnic basket filled with treats! I got one of each of the new menu cakes which were never going to last a long time in my house! They disappeared as soon as my dad and brothers arrived home haha Luckily I guessed this might happen and hid the white chocolate Blondie (which is my absolute favourite) so I could eat it myself later on! I also got  a £30 gift card to help me with my tasks, three pretty nail polishes, a Frisbee, clutch bag and a Champneys nail file and a note detailing my tasks! I feel like a secret agent spy reporting my findings back to you guys!

We were given four tasks to complete over five days - have a look how I did!

Ok so let me set the scene for where the majority of these were taken - Sunday morning, Andrew and I had spend the night in Covent Garden, stayed overnight in a hotel (more to come in a week or two) and wanted to pop into Costa before jumping on the train home, right? Well as we left the hotel, the heavens opened and its started pouring! Luckily for me, I brought along one of Andrews hoodies for the stay, unluckily for him, he decided to wear just a t-shirt and shorts haha we literally ran all the way to cover in Costa! I took of the hoodie and was dry. I turned around and saw this...
hahahahahahahah I couldn't stop laughing but then I felt like the worst girlfriend ever so I sat him down and got him a toasty and a drink - he soon perked up and dried off! Costa to the rescue!

Ok so now onto the tasks in hand! 

Take a #selfie with an item from Costa’s Summer menu

 I took this one possibly a little before he perked up (see photo) haha I was still in histerics but I felt bad laughing at him so I went off to take a toilet selfie and left him in peace with his toasty haha
 I also took these with that cheeky blondie that I hid away for myself earlier!
Prep your nails for summer with a ‘Costa Summer’ inspired mani

Since the mint green polish was my favourite of the three that were in the hamper and taking some inspiration from my favourite flavour combination from the summer menu, I ended up with mint green nails with chocolate syrup dripping down them! I was quite proud of myself with theses, they took me less that 10 minutes and all I used was a tooth pick. #Skillz
Showcase a Summer outfit whereby an item from Costa’s Summer menu is the ultimate accessory

Again, taking inspiration from the mint flavours and the perfect time to wear my new top from Primark, I went for a green outfit which I kept dry with Andrews lovely hoodie - Here's me in Costa accessorising my minty look with my minty drink - we could be twins, all I need is a flower/mint crown!
Introduce/treat a friend/family member to an item from Costa's Summer menu!

Well obviously, I had to introduce Andrew to my favourite cake since it missed out to a toastie the day before! I bought one and took it home to share with him in bed for breakfast the next morning!
I hope you guys all enjoyed reading about my challenge with Costa and be sure to check the # to see what everyone else has been up to!

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

FASHION: Festival Style With Jack Wills

When Jack Wills got in contact about a competition they are running, I was super excited! I have grown up wearing them and they are still one of my favorite brands! I literally live in my JW tracksuit bottoms when I'm at home (I have the matching hoodie too haha) plus I have so many pairs of their knickers and loads and loads of tees!

For the competition, I have been asked to make a wishlist of my favourite festival pieces from the site which of course wasn't hard as there was so much I loved!

What Do You Think?
If your going to a festival, of course your going to need a big strong bag to keep everything in! There is an extra fastening over the front pocket to keep everything extra safe which is going to be great wen your dancing around. Plus I love the print!

I have been looking for the perfect chelsea boot for years and I think I just found them! These come in four different colours and are real suede leather, although they are perfect, so I would only take them to a festival if it wasn't a horrible muddy one!

You will need a wallet to keep all your very important things together, I.D, debit card ect. I love the tartan print all over this! Jack Wills have some really great prints in at the moment!

Another amazing print haha sorry for repeating myself again! Also would be great for the evenings if it was a camping festival, they are so comfy!

As well as their lovely patterns, I am obsessed with anything Jack Wills branded! I love the easy fit of this tee which should be great for dancing around in too!

These are super pretty and have lots of subtle detail all over them! I'm definitely more of a shorts and tee girl over a dress for a festival!

Again, I love the huge branding on this and I have the same one with pink text on it which I mentioned earlier! Super warm and snugly for the evenings!

This top totally didn't look like something from JW but I love it all the same. Its cropped, structured and has a cute cut out pattern.

Gotta have something cute to wear with those boots! 

Also as mentioned, I already have quite a large collection of these - they are my favorite underwear ever! I love the Jack Wills band and the material is very good quality - These would be a great addition to my collection!

FASHION: Missguided Co-ord

How cute is this co-ord!? I think it's my favourite one of the lot at the moment and of course it's from Missguided who are known for their amazing co-ordinates - They have the biggest range that I have seen in one place so far! 

I love both the shorts and the top as separate pieces which is great! The top is structured with a zip running the whole way along the back which I think looks quite classy and again as I say with all my co-ord tops, it'd look just as good with a pair of jeans!As for the shorts I love how big and floaty and just easy to move in they are. Obviously the main thing that I liked about this set was the super cute summery print! It looks like summer is running out and I want to get as much wear out of this as possible before it starts raining every day again!

Here, I've dressed it down with my new pair of white canvas trainer heels so it'd be great for a BBQ or something but it'd also be easily dressed up with a nice pair of white heels and a super expensive diamondnecklace... if only haha

Co-ord* - Missguided
Heels* - SpyLoveBuy

Monday, 11 August 2014

BEAUTY: Festival Beauty Essentials With AVON

With festival season in full swing, the lovely girls at AVON sent me a package full of festival essentials. I am actually still yet to go to a proper one but would love to one day, they look like so much fun and I love looking at all the style photos online!
Jojoba Dry Oil Spray - I've never used anything like this before but as soon as I sprayed it, I was taken back to Thailand! I saw the word jojoba alot when Andrew and I were in the spa but I didn't know what it was - well now I do and I love this stuff! Other than the smell, it's a really nice product, I've been spraying it on my legs to make the soft, smooth and shiny!

Sun Cream - Usually this isn't too important at a festival in the UK but this year I'd say it's one of the big essentials with the crazy weather we've been having, 30+ or more for me!!

Coloured Mascara - This is my kind of thing, I'm much more of an eyes girl and a touch of mascara makes all the difference! Having them in Blue and Purple is a perfect way to do some fun make up with out going ott and looking crazy! I love the idea of adding a subtle touch of colour to my lashes and it just gives off a fun vibe!

Styling Mirror Shine Spray - because who doesn't want shiny hair!

Eyeliner - What girl could seriously go to a festival without an eyeliner in her bag - Even I wouldn't do that! Gotta love a good eyeliner and this one is a gel pencil which is so easy to apply and lasts ages!!

AVON Gel Polish - Gel polishes are a big thing for me atm since I had a reaction to the real gel I use and had to keep away! At least now I can still get the look with out the swollen fingers! A festival is a great place to wear a bright yellow polish if your not too confident with bright colours in day to day life!

Lipstick - A bright lipstick is just what you need to make yourself look awake after a long crazy night and will talk the focus off of your tired eyes!

Sunglasses - Always a festival essential - sunglasses make everyone look better and actually have a purpose too!
Massive Thanks to AVON - at least if I ever do go to a festival, Ill be stocked up on everything I need!!

Friday, 8 August 2014

LIFESTYLE: The Underground Cookery School With Quorn

Soo you may remember I went to The Underground Cookery School recently and had a blast, so of course when I was invited back to another event there I jumper at the chance!

This time it was with Quorn! I popped along super early as usual and was greeted with a glass of bubbly and some snacks. I was a bit suspicion of the sausage rolls - I thought this was meant to be a vegetarian thing but they looked and tasted exactly like sausage rolls! Apparently there were actually Quorn - you got me guys, I was shocked and impressed at the same time!

When the rest of the girls arrived we had a little presentation - apparently there are already 118 products out with pork pies being their newest release! They are now looking to get meat eaters involved as well as the veggies because as well as being vegetarian friendly Quorn actually has a lot of health benefits like being high in fibre and low in salt and sugar!

We then got to the cooking. We didn't get to cook the Quorn ourselves which was probably for the best as I would have had no idea what to do with it but we did do alot of other fun stuff like making our pasta which was great - I've never done that before! plus we made the same dessert again which was my favourite part of both meals mmmm!

It's very odd, I've enjoyed the events at the underground cookery school so much that I've actually wanted to start cooking real food at home haha. Probably going to start with cakes and desserty stuff because I love the decorating part at the end but after that I am going to try to move on to bigger and better things! I definitely want to try making my own pasta again!

Thanks Quorn for another super evening!
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Thursday, 7 August 2014

PRESSDAYS: #ChristmasInJuly

I have been to so many press days in the last two weeks that I though it would work better to put them all into one post! They are all Christmas previews which is so exciting because I love Christmas time toooo much! It's just magical!

Walking into the F&F press day in the extreme London heat was a breath of fresh air, or more a breath of icy air! The showroom was all white and full of ice sculptures - it was amazing! There were lots of pretty pastel jumpers, I especially liked the embellished ones! Another thing that caught my eye was the sparkly underwear sets which came in black and maroon and consisted of a sequin triangle bra and sequin high waisted briefs! They also had some lovely evening wear but my favorite item from the whole collection had to be the purple flocked kimono, they have somehow made a day time garment into a super classy evening cover up! I love it and as always the price points are so affordable!!
Just a quick pop into the So..? press event the other night to have a look at the 4 new fragrances all named after big cities - London, NYC, Paris and Rio! My fave of the 4 was actually Rio since its so fresh and fruity with notes of pineapple, mango and melon - yum! 
River Island
This was super exciting - I love River Island at Christmas so it was great to see it all before it hits the shops - so much sparkle and glamour! Lovely materials and textures with metallics, furs and sequins plus lots of amazing shoes as usual. They also had a BOBs lobsters outside where I got the most amazing lobster mac n cheese for lunch mmm
This was more home wear but the most christmassy event by far, I felt like I'd walked into someones living room on Christmas eve! There were the most beautiful christmas trees and decorations everywhere all sparkly and pretty and all in different colours and themes! There was also a huge gifts collection with literally had something for everyone there was so much choice! I cant wait to Christmas!!
Ann Summers
Held aptly in the Blow Room at the Soho Hotel (haha) I wandered into a room full of pretty underwear! I cant tell you about alot of this as its a secret for now! The new collection this year is very dark with lots of blacks and deep purples which I think its quite classy! Lovely new cuts and lots of pretty eyelash lace.
I always love Superdry in the winter and this year there was a lot of extra sparkle, I loved the sequin collars on the coats and the big fairisle knitted jumpers! annnd as always there was a huge range of branded gifts in all different colours!
 The last of my winter wonderlands for this week! Very was filled with festive tables settings and trees with beautiful decorations. As well as that there was a huge range of kids toys, make up and all sorts of other gifts anndd a rail of amazing christmas party clothes - How amazing is this green dress?!
I also went to a couple that I'm not allowed to say anything about yet - Lush Christmas collection and Kleenex new releases - but don't worry, as soon as I can, there will be posts about them too!

P.S - Sorry about the photo quality - I'm having SLR issues at the moment and all my phone photos look terrible but dont worry - Im getting it sorted!!